Robert Clark. Sycamore Gap.

Robert Clark. Sycamore Gap.

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A single Sycamore Tree stands along the route of Hadrian's Wall, one of the northernmost remains of the Roman Empire's realm.

This iconic tree, next to Hadrian’s Wall, was cut down overnight in September in what detectives have called a “deliberate act of vandalism.” The tree was made famous in a key scene in Kevin Costner’s 1991 film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and was among the UK’s most photographed trees.

The sycamore tree (Acer pseudoplatanus) had been planted in the late 19th century by the previous land owner, John Clayton, as a landscape feature, making it about 150 years old.

Known as the Sycamore Gap Tree, it was named the 2016 England Tree of the Year. In the early morning of September 28, 2023, it was felled, seemingly with a chainsaw. The Northumbria Police have arrested both a 16-year-old boy and a 68-year-old man in connection with the felling, on suspicion of causing criminal damage.

This beloved tree lives on in our memories and in our photographs, a treasured point of pilgrimage beside an ancient wall.

Robert Clark is a freelance photographer based in New York City, working with the world's leading magazines, publishers and cutting edge advertising campaigns, as well as the author of four monographs: Evolution A Visual Record, Feathers Displays of Brilliant Plumage, First Down Houston A Year with the Houston Texans and Image America - the first photography book shot solely with a cellphone camera.

Follow Robert on instagram @robertclarkphoto.

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